Most Americans would be up-in-arms if the government tried to control how they use the internet. We all generally have the right to say whatever we want to say online (our freedom of speech permits that.) Some governments are fed up with the anonymous attacks and posts that attack government officials and spread gossip through online forums. China recently passed a law requiring all internet users to register with their real names. People are calling this an attack on free speech since the government is most likely interested in figuring out who is talking badly about them. What this new law does, in the greater scheme of things, is hold people accountable for what they do and say online.
The Chinese government is claiming that this new law is being passed to protect the people. By registering with their actual identities the government would be able to protect its users against scams, fraud and junk mail. This decision came about not too long after Weibo took off. Weibo is a micro-blogging site where users can anonymously post comments online. The site has been known for users exposing abuses of official power and corruption in China.
Weibo users are not happy with this new law. One user wrote,
“So now they are getting Weibo to help in keeping records and reporting it to authorities. Is this the freedom of expression we are promised in the constitution?”
As annoying as this decision is, the Chinese government already has the ability to keep tabs on its people. So perhaps this new law will force people to post online with more accountability.